Every year, around this time, the idiot public rush around like headless turkey's, buying trinkets and knick-knacks for their loved ones, in a vain attempt to prove how much love they have for one another.
This love, which is measured in monetary terms, and nothing else, is often left 'til the last moment.
I run a very successful online shop, even if I do say so myself. And I just did, so there!
The month of December is by far the busiest. I spend every waking day, and often well in to the night, dealing with sales. Picking, packing and invoicing. Over and over again, ad nauseum.
It is tiring, hard and even stressful at times. When you enter work, open up your emails and are faced with 162 emails to sift through, all containing orders, or questions about the product, it is a little daunting.
And to face that day in day out for a month solid, it's downright painful.
This year it's even harder. The Gods that are decided to blanket our fair land with snow. Making it impossible for everyone concerned. Transport is key in on line selling. No transport, no delivery, no sales.
Or so it should be. But still the sales roll in.
Everyone and their dog is by now aware that the Royal Mail, and many of the leading courier companies, have a pre-arranged cut-off date, for last guaranteed deliveries before the big day itself.
But every year, without fail, my sales peak three days before Christmas day, a day after the cut-off date.
And every year, without fail, I know what is inevitably coming next. My most hated period. The part of the month that I despise most. The period that makes me really want to set out on a mass killing spree, armed with a knitting needle, boiling water, and a copy of the Royal Mail's business practices manual (incorporating The RM Opening Times Almanac).
It is the 'where's my item' period.
Hundreds of emails flood in daily asking 'where the item they purchased yesterday' is. They tell you things like 'it's a Christmas present', no shit, at this time of year? And 'my kid will be well upset if it dunt arrive', nice grammar, good spelling.
Here is a true example of an email I received this year. This is copy and pasted in it's entirety, from the original email, the name has not been changed, as he never supplied it:
'STILL WATING FOR DILIVERY ORDERD ON 22/12/10'
I had to reply to this ever so politely, apologising for any inconvenience caused. I had to explain that we had had a little adverse weather. I also explained that postage was perhaps a little backed up due to seasonal reasons, and it was past the allotted cut-off date.
What I wanted to say was "first off, who the fuck are you? When leaving me a message, if you can't spell, at least have the common decency to tell me who the fuck I'm addressing! Secondly, what is it you've ordered? How can I track something, when I don't even know what it is! I receive hundreds of orders a day, at least give me a fucking clue! My telepathy is not quite on par today, through dealing with fuckwits like you!"
"Thirdly, its fucking snowing! Now, even being obviously below average intelligence, even you must have noticed that. The white, powdery cold shit laying all over the place is a clue! If you haven't seen it on the news, then simply look out of your care-home window, whilst your nurse mops the dribble from your chin, you simple fuck! Snow delays deliveries. That's a fact, not made up code between on-line retailers to screw you out of money."
"And why, seeing as it's a present for one of your fucktard friends or family, didn't you purchase it with plenty of time in hand? Did Christmas, that sacred day that is celebrated every fucking year on the 25th December suddenly spring from nowhere, like a ninja waiting in bushes? Did it suddenly hit you like a train, that it's Chrimbo in a few days, I better shop for presents? You wanker!"
"You leave it so fuckin' late and then try and blame me for ruining 'little Johnnys' Christmas. Fuck you! Get organised! Pay the extra pound and upgrade to recorded delivery, you tight arsed, moaning bastard!"
You may be thinking, 'that's a bit harsh', but no, it isn't.
See, I've been doing this for years. I know the form. This is the first of several emails. I will reply to this all politely, saying to give it time, wait til the new year, see if it arrives, apologies for any inconvenience because you're an un-organised git, etc.
I will then, inevitably, receive another email later on, claiming to have ruined their Christmas for all concerned. Little Johnny was crying, his mam was upset, causing her to burn the dinner, and all in all the holidays were ruined, by me, and me alone! I will have to refund their money, or send out another item. Big losses for me all round.
And all because they are un-organised, whiny arse holes, who couldn't organise a piss in a urinal.
This is one transaction out of hundreds I will have to deal with over the coming weeks.
So while you're tucking in to your festive turkey and trimmings over this festive period, spare a thought for the on line retailers, stressing over lost revenue and conversing with members of the idiot public, who really should not be allowed access to the internet, let alone their own bank accounts.
Have a merry Christmas, and I hope you get all that you desire, as long as it was ordered in time.
I'm sure your family love you.